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Refactoring Thumbnails

Posted by wwake on August 9, 2004 at 10:45 PM PDT

Sven Gorts has introduced what he calls Refactoring Thumbnails. These are UML-like diagrams augmented with some flows, and used to summarize refactorings. (For example, the UML might have no words, but rather squiggles to represent identical text in two different classes.)

In addition to summarizing the transformation involved in simple refactorings, he uses these to show how large refactorings can be created out of smaller ones. A nice example is Break Module Dependencies With Adapter. He shows that you can break package dependencies by doing Separate Interface from Implementation, and then Introduce Indirect Class, or by doing these in the opposite order. For Evolving to the Proxy / Decorator Pattern, he shows several approaches that end up in the same place.

I really like these summaries, and I'll use this approach to help manage my focus on large refactorings.

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